A Line in the Sand…or Kitchen

Discipline.  Ugh.  A constant and draining fact of life with toddlers.  I have learned this already, and we are a full four months away from the dreaded “twos.”
I wish I could say that I know it will be different with my sweet boys.  My sweet boys will never throw those full-out, face-planting tantrums with a crowd of on-lookers as Target.  My sweet boys will never fight over toys, hit, bite, or push one another.  My sweet boys will never tell their mama, or grandma, or daddy, or teacher, “No!”
But they will, and they have.  
While I’m still waiting (and dreading) our first public scream fest, we are already well-versed in sharing drama on a daily basis.  I tell myself that this is really a “perk” of having twins, because surely they will have learned to share by pre-school and will impress all their teachers with their patience and manners.  Right.
So, while managing the wonderful world of discipline is definitely a learning process for me…you are about as likely to witness my sweet boys sharing their last grape with one another as you are to witness them strangling each other over their perceived right to have a turn – NOW! – riding Mr. Dino…I think I might have found something that works…for us…today…in one specific situation.  And, I just had to share.

The stove.  Where curious little hands are lured, with all those tempting knobs and that shiny door.

The line.  Where pint-sized family members “Stop!”

The “tank.”  Where offenders wind up for a minute(ish) of reflection time.

Basically, I have quarantined our kitchen stove.  After months of repeatedly telling the boys “No!” and even trying some time-outs, I needed something different to keep them safe.  So, out came the masking tape (for the floor, not the children…I promise).  I took each child individually to the line and explained that this is where we stop.  I also explained that mom and dad are allowed to go over the line to cook dinner and clean, but that little boys stop at the line for safety.  

And, you know what…

It’s working.  And after only a few short days.

Little Brother stopping at the line to ask for “Mo milll?”

Am I ruining my floor?  Maybe.  But, I’m saving my sanity.  And, right now, sanity (and safety) wins.



  1. Great idea! I am always concerned about the stove.

  2. What a genius idea! Makes such a difference to have a clear boundary/rule to follow, and what a great way to do that here! :)

    • That is the key for them…a clear rule that they understand and can easily follow. I think, “Don’t touch the stove because it is hot…sometimes” is a bit too complex right now. :)

  3. That’s really cool! Setting clear boundaries is key, after all! 😀
    Visiting you from the mommy brain mixer! Do visit me when you get a chance!

  4. Great idea!

  5. tape!?! why didn’t I think of that? You are seriously so clever! I love that you call the play pen the tank….we call it daycare!

  6. Love the line idea. You are brilliant.

  7. Hello! Disciplining toddlers (I imagine any age, really) is the worst part of being a parent. Im so with your on the ‘ugh’ – This is a great idea though – very smart! I’m stopping by from the Mommy-Brain Mixer at Two in Diapers. Are you on Klout? If so, I hope you’ll come by jugglingactmama.blogspot after 4pm EST for my Kickin’ it with Klout linky. Happy Thursday!

  8. This is the art of parenting! Learning how to make complex ideas simple – getting on their level – understanding them so they understand us.

  9. I like it. No! I love it. Will have to add this to my very short list of discipline tactics

  10. That is a great idea!! My kids (and probably most kids) need and love to know exactly what the boundaries are, so this is PERFECT! I’m so glad you linked up to the Mixer, friend, and I hope to see you again next week! :)

  11. what a great idea! I might have to tape a line down the middle of the seat in the car so my boys will keep their hands on their own side!! :) following you from the mommy-brain mixer and would love a follow back!

  12. Brilliant idea! Following you back from Refrigerator Memories.

  13. I just found your blog via Naptime Review blog hop. I love this idea of quarantining the oven. I’m your newest follower :)


  14. Buying tape today…for the floor not the kids 😉

  15. Love it and am stealing it! The twos are easy, its the threes that are awful. We are two weeks short of turning 3 and WOW… I found you on the Mommy Mix up!

    • Ugh. I wish you luck with this coming year. I’ve heard this from other parents as well, so I’m trying to prepare myself now. Deep breath… :)

  16. Awesome!! This is a terrific idea!! Btw, I really like your blog!! :)

  17. I am SO glad that I found your blog. I too have twin toddlers and look forward to reading your stories and adventures.
    I am a new follower!


  18. Found your blog through Monday Mingle,and I’m your newest follower now :)



  19. What a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing at Mom On Timeout!

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